Let Them Eat Cake

I am going on vacation next week and I definitely already have vacation brain!  The past 7 days I’ve done barely any cooking and taken barely any photographs of what I have been eating.

Here were five great highlights…

{1} Cake in all forms!  Billy Idol Cake from Paradox, aka white wedding cake with lemon curd.

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{2} Cake ice cream > ice cream cake.

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{3} I have come around to Adam’s point of view that Sicily Rose makes the best lattes in Charlottesville.  Their fancy espresso machine is key.  Four shots on ice with skim milk in a small cup is 100% perfect.

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{4} Poblano x2 pasta bowls.  Trader Joe’s creamy chicken poblano ravioli with celery, poblano pepper, and TJ’s turkey summer sausage sauteed in a butter.

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{5} We finally made it to Lampo and it lived up to the hype.  The Fungi pizza was downright decadent; Sharondale Farm pioppini and oyster mushrooms, thyme, onion, garlic, panna, aged provolone, grana padano.

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Adam and I shared two amazing salads.  Cavoletti di Bruxelles – shaved brussel sprouts, chives, fennel, hazelnuts, maple garum vinaigrette, pecorino.

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Cavolo Nero – Tuscan kale, candied almonds, ricotta salata, golden raisins, pickled mustard seed, apple cider vinaigrette, crispy parsnip.  This was the best dish of the meal.

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Plus I had the Hell and Honey cocktail; Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Espolon, aperol, grapefruit, scorpion pepper honey.

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And we had the budino for dessert; chocolate pudding, sweet cream, olive oil, salted hazelnut brittle.

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P.S. I will not be blogging from vacation – though I will share some fun on instagram – so I’ll see you guys after St. Patrick’s Day!

Snack Attack

Highlights from the week…

This canned coffee from Dunkin was actually not too bad.

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But this quad non-fat iced latte from Marie Bette was better.  They were doing some work in our apartment this week and Webster had to be boarded; his vet is right next to the pastry spot so I finally got a chance to try their scrumptious pretzel croissants.

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This month’s Snack Crate goodies came from Hawaii.  Highlights included Maui onion chips and pineapple Hi-Chews.

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Kung Fu Tea = joy.  I got a Thai iced tea (half sweet, extra ice) with pudding and boba.

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Cookie Dough Life is life, this new flavor from Coolhaus knocked our socks off.

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Turkey sandwiches are the easiest dinner.  Toasted whole grain sourdough / smoked sliced turkey / sharp cheddar / spicy raspberry jam.  Plus roasted green beans.

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Actually, this was the easiest dinner.  I got a bowl (without rice) and chips from Chipotle and took them home to turn into nachos.  Chips / cheese / pinto beans / fajita veggies / chicken / corn salsa / tomatillo salsa / sour cream.

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And this was the tastiest dinner!  Toasted sourdough / topped with soft scrambled eggs / and smoked herring mashed with caramelized onion dip.  Plus roasted broccoli.  We were swooning after every bite.

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Smoky Salsa Sustenance

This was a good week in home-cooking!  And snacks.  And ice cream.  Highlights include…

Tortuga coffee with half and half.  I brewed it with a bit of vanilla bean powder.

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These peanut butter cookie dough protein bars are legit.

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We roasted Japanese yams with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika and they were delicious; just amazingly creamy.

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Trader Joe’s honey hedgehog butter cookies.  Just a little bit savory and sweet.

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Freeze-dried banana slices.

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These Jalapeño Popper Turkey Burgers are one of the best recipes on my site.  With roasted broccoli.

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Okonomiyaki!  With purple Japanese yam, roasted green cabbage, and green onion.  Topped with Kewpie and Sriracha.

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Plus Thai iced tea on the side.

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We made the best tacos I’ve ever eaten, hands down.  Filled with a loose take on this slow cooker chicken taco recipe.  We used chicken thighs, taco seasoning, paprika, garlic, lime, serrano pepper, sweet onion, and red and yellow bell pepper.

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Topped with cheese, sour cream, and a loose take on this smoky salsa roja recipe.  We used extra chipotle and subbed in lime and brown sugar for vinegar and molasses.

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IPAs on the side.

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For nacho night we baked our flour tortillas into chips.  Topped with cheese, sour cream, homemade salsa, and black beans sauteed with green onions and serrano pepper.  Plus a side of roasted green beans.

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Happy weekending!

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Hot, Hot, Hot

There is no condiment I find as essential as hot sauce (fyi – I normally like to keep an open Cholula in the mix as well!),

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so when Moore’s Marinades offered to send me some samples from their new hot sauce line I jumped at the opportunity.

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We loved them both, even Adam who is a bit heat adverse.  The sauces brought a lot of flavor with the spice.  I prefer a hot sauce that I can take a taste of without running for a glass of milk (think Sriracha in terms of heat intensity).

With the Harissa Hot Sauce I made a smoky harissa turkey chili.

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Ground turkey / olive oil / sweet onion / celery / bell pepper / poblano pepper / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / liquid smoke / harissa hot sauce / white beans / crushed tomato.  Topped with cheddar.

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On the side, I made dumb bread! <– from scratch!

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With the Spicy Mustard Hot Sauce I made hot honey mustard chicken nuggets.

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Homemade baked chicken nuggets (chicken chunks / dipped in flour / then egg / then breadcrumbs) tossed in the tastiest sauce I’ve ever made – honey, spicy mustard hot sauce, mustard, butter.

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Double Bacon Cheese Beyond Burgers

My trip home last weekend was perfect and we survived “Winter Storm Gia” this weekend… 2019 is looking like my year.

Highlights from week 2 include…

Iced coffee with black walnut extract and sweet cream creamer.

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Stumptown cold brew coffee box.

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Who knew that Perfect Bars were so freaking delicious?!  This peanut butter chocolate chip one was basically cookie dough.

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Stonyfield chocolate yogurt pouch (7/10), a Kiku apple (8/10), and a chocolate peanut butter filled Clif bar (9.5/10).

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I brought these yummy coconut candies back from St. Thomas.

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Shiner S’more is officially my new favorite beer.

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Guzzled while assembling everything but the kitchen sink cookies with caramel, kettle chips, toffee bits, caramel chips, and chocolate chips.

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This quickie packaged foods dinner was sooo good.  Chicken and cheese pupusas + bbq chicken chips + roasted broccoli + Trader Joe’s Zhoug sauce.

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I have an unhealthy obsession with the “Asian” section of Wegman’s hot bar.

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We made insanely, over-the-top, decadent double cheese burgers with Beyond Burger patties.

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Two patties on a brioche bun with mayo, turkey bacon, and smoked cheddar slices.  Plus kettle chips and veggies from the Whole Foods’ hot bar – curry caulilini and roasted rainbow carrots, mushrooms, and root vegetables.

img_3144Then later in the week we did a similar thing with Boca Chick’n patties.

 

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We made killer sheet pan hash browns.  Potato, sweet potato, purple sweet potato, olive oil, smoked paprika, green onion, turkey bacon, and red, yellow, and orange bell pepper.

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Topped with Zhoug and fried eggs.

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Leftovers Love

Highlights from this week were foods that were made of and/or inspired by Thanksgiving leftovers!  Potato, turkey, and cranberries abound!

Related – my department gave me candy for working the holiday which is kind of the sweetest.

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Caramel Chobani with almond butter granola and cranberry sauce.

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Smoked turkey salad sandwiches with roasted green beans.  Chopped smoked turkey, smoked paprika, cream cheese, mayo, and celery.  On a bun with cranberry sauce.

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Poutine!  Waffle fries, smoked turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and cheese curds.

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Cauliflower gratin / turkey breakfast sausage and gravy / topped with a fried egg and chili oil.

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Early Thanksgiving

Early post because my extended family is coming into town for Thanksgiving and I am taking a three-day weekend to spend time with my parents!  I’m working the holiday (today) and then I am free until Monday.  Early Thanksgiving because I already managed to cram five holiday meal flavors into a short week of eating.  <– good thing too, I spent yesterday evening baking my contributions for today’s meal and I did so much taste-testing that I may actually still be full this afternoon!

Eggnog (1) in my coffee.  I’ve moved on from the soy nog, I just wasn’t a fan this year.

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Pie (2) in my breakfast bar.  Betty Lou’s cherry.  I know cherry isn’t strictly a Thanksgiving flavor but I’m still counting it.

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Stuffing (3) with roasted brussel sprouts (4).  I actually made something of a stuffing-dressing/strata hybrid, with several eggs stirred into my stock.  Plus roasted celery and onion, hunks of raisin pecan sourdough, fresh sage and parsley, and turkey breakfast sausage.

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With a local cranberry (5) gose and maple brown ale for some thematic booze.

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I hope all of my American readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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